Shannon's health and fitness blog

Bringing the islands to your slow cooker

I’ve had a slow cooker for a number of years now and rarely use it.  I have such a difficult time finding recipes that I think are healthy enough for my family.  Well here’s one that I found at skinny Ms. that we loved-Polynesian Chicken!  As far as the recipe goes, I did substitute Coconut Liquid Aminos for the Braggs that the recipe suggests.  I also recommend cooking this for only 4 hours.  If you have a corn allergy, just substitute potato starch for corn starch.  This is a great dairy free, gluten free meal!


October 9, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring cleaning

This week marks the change of seasons.  Spring is upon us again.  Of course, here in Southern California, we are blessed with great weather all year long.  Yet, something about beautiful, longer sunny days, flowers blooming, and birds singing remind us that summer and all its fun is just around the corner.  This is the time when we start thinking, “Uh oh, I have to wear a bikini soon.  Better ramp up those workouts!”  For me, spring marks a time when I replace those comfort foods with lots of veggies.  Ok, so I know my idea of comfort food is sweet potato chips and gluten/dairy free muffins from Kean coffee.  It’s all relative, right?

The real spring cleaning starts in April.   An entire month to prepare for summer and fun at the beach!  If you’re looking not only to lose weight, but have increased energy, improve your digestive system, eliminate aches and pains, and feel great join me April 3 to start April”s 28 Days to Health cleanse.  You will learn how to improve your diet permanently, how food affects your health, and how to control cravings, energy fluctuations, and mood swings.

For those committed to their health by March 31, 2012 the program fee will be waived 100%.  After April 1, the fee will be $50.00.  For more information contact me at

March 25, 2012 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Tis the season for slippery slopes

The holiday season is upon us.  That time of year when we are bombarded by foods and treats that are not a normal part of our daily lives.  Halloween is the top of that slippery slope, with bags and bags of candy lying around the house.  It can be a very fast descent to The New Year if self -control is not your forte. For insight on how to stay on top  of your mountain check out this great article on Mark’s Daily Apple.  Just click on the link and enjoy 🙂

Gateway Foods: The Slippery Slope of “Just a Bite” | Mark’s Daily Apple.

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , | Leave a comment

Teach your children well

People are always so amazed at how well my daughter eats, even when I am not there to supervise her.  Over the years she has learned how to make healthy choices for herself.  How did I do this?  By teaching her cause and effect.  Eating the wrong things can give her a stomach ache, a sinus infection, intestinal distress, anxiety, and so much more.  By pointing out the effects of her food choices, she learned that it’s just not worth it.  If a child can figure this out, one would hope any one could.  Do you know what your body is telling you?  Wake up and listen, your health depends on it.

July 24, 2011 Posted by | Children, Food, Health | , , | Leave a comment

Do you know what you’re eating?

Please take the time to watch this video.  The toxicity of our food supply is one of the things I talk about in my nutrition seminars.  If you don’t care what you put in your body, that’s fine.  However, if you have children, educating yourself on this topic is critical to their health!

June 19, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Night of Conscious Dining

On Superbowl Sunday, my dear friend, Kendra, and I were fortunate to meet a man named Don Stonebraker.  While chatting with Don, we found out that he is the manager of  Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails.  Don told us all about Andrei’s, and we quickly realized that this is a restaurant whose menu very closely reflected the food choices of our 28 day cleanse program.  We immediately set up a date for dinner and what a treat it was!

Andrei’s was established in 2005 in memory of Andrei Olenicoff, who died at the age of 32 in a car accident.  It is owned and operated by his sister, Natalie, and his father, Igor.  The restaurant is non-profit and 100% of the profits go the the Andrei Foundation, which benefits CHOC, finding a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa, and other local causes.  They have also built a school library in rural Sri Lanka, funded and built a rain collection clean water system in Nicaragua, sponsored a local guide dog team, and provided life-changing surgeries to over 20 Russian orphans.

Andrei believed in being conscious of what you put in your body and how you treat the planet.   And so it is, that Andrei’s provides  gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan menus.  They use only naturally raised meats, free of hormones and antibiotics and sustainable seafood.  They utilize only locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, so their menu changes based on the season.  Even their cheeses are purchased locally.   They feature a large wine selection, with about 1/3 of their wines being organic.  They offer many other organic cocktails, as well. Andrei’s goal is to not only enhance the quality of the food, but also to support a more responsible attitude towards our community and the world around us.

The restaurant itself was impressive, modern and classy, however the food was even better.  The exquisite  flavors spoke volumes about the freshness of the food.  First of all, they offer complimentary still or sparkling Natura filtered water.  My daughter ordered pasta and meatballs off of the kids menu and gobbled it up before we had finished our first plate.  Kendra and I shared a number of small plates so we could get an idea of the different foods Andrei’s had to offer.  We tried the Surf N Turf kabobs and they were delicious.  I don’t even like fish, but I loved these 🙂 

Next we ordered Lamb Sliders.  These were unbelievably good!!!  They are served in pita bread with feta cheese so they are not a food on the cleanse program, but they were so worth it 🙂  We also ordered squash off the gluten-free menu, which was equally as delicious.  We found out later that their Octopus Salad is a top seller.  Apparently, it is marinated in wine, oils, and wine corks.  The enzymes from the wine corks act as a tenderizer, so they octopus is not chewy.  I will definitely be trying this out next time!

Next we tackled the dessert!  One word-divine!!! We all shared (get ready for this) New York Cheesecake, Carrot Cake with Maple ice cream and walnut brittle, and a chocolate brownie with goat’s milk vanilla bean ice cream.  All were scrumptious and we enjoyed every bite!

Andrei’s provided the kind of dining experience that makes you more aware of what you are eating and proves that eating healthy can also be delicious.  The staff was exceptional and were extremely educated about everything on the menu, right down to every one of their 60 wines.  I highly recommend Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails for an amazing dining experience!

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Aftermath

Today marks my 6th day off the 28 day cleanse.  I have continued to eat the same food as I did on the cleanse, I just haven’t had my two protein shakes a day.  I feel even better now than I did on the cleanse, if that’s even possible.  I’ve done a number of cleanses in the past, and even if I felt good while on them, afterwards was always a disaster.  I would either get sick (once so bad I thought I would have to be hospitalized for asthma) or spend weeks trying to get my energy back.  This cleanse is quite the opposite.  I feel better than I have in years!   The only time I didn’t was when I reintroduced something that was prohibited on the cleanse.

Now I’ve known for a number of years that dairy is not my friend, which is why I rarely have it.  It gives me intestinal problems and makes me break out.  However, when I reintroduced dairy just one time, I was presented with pretty bad knee pain.  As you know, my knee has felt the best ever in five years while on this cleanse.  A little dairy and the pain came right back.  I was surprised!  The worst one, though, was the gluten.  One meal with gluten and I was so exhausted I just wanted to lay down on the floor and nap.  I was so tired, my eyes burned.  Needless to say, I haven’t had gluten since.  I’m guessing that’s why I’ve been feeling so good, because I haven’t been eating gluten.

Besides that, I feel amazing.  My energy level is still very high, even though my life is on chaos mode right now.  My sleep is still good and, as long as I don’t eat dairy, soy, or gluten, my joints feel great!  Oh yeah, and I’m still losing weight, while eating plenty of food.

Not only that, but my workouts have really improved.   About 8-9 years ago I was running a 7 minute mile.  After my knee injury and a bout with adrenal fatigue, it dropped to a 10 minute mile.  That is quite a drop for an athlete.  Over the 28 days I have been on this cleanse, that 10 minute mile has gradually gotten faster.  Today I ran 5 miles at an 8.5 minute mile.  In one month I was able to close that gap by 50%.  While my racing days are long gone, I would still like to feel like the athlete I once was, just a little bit.  Now I do 🙂

This whole experience has been a real eye-opener for me when it comes to the effect food has on our health.  I already knew so much about this, yet experiencing it for myself was quite enlightening.

December 19, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health, Weight loss | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resources that teach kids about food choices

  • Monster Nutrition Mungo the nutrition monster will eat everything in his path.  Kids must quickly choose what to feed him:  the healthier their choices, the higher their score.
  • MyPyramid Blast Off Kids can reach outer space by fueling a rocket with healthy foods and physical activity.  Each food group has a separate fuel tank so kids can keep track of how their choices fit into the food pyramid
  • Nutrition Tracker This downloadable game encourages kids to keep track of what they eat and compares their food choices with the daily recommended servings for each food group.
  • Chef Solus’s Cooking School Kids cook with Chef Solus by following recipes and learning about healthy food choices.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Children, Food, Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My latest adventure

So today was my first day on a new cleansing program.  My friend, Kendra Cannoy, had done this cleanse a while back and convinced me to try it.  This cleanse is an anti-inflammatory, detox cleanse that allows 2 protein drinks and one meal throughout the day.  Meals must be free of dairy, soy, sugar, vinegar, alcohol, gluten, and coffee, soda, and diet drinks.  All meat must be unprocessed, antibiotic and hormone free, and grass fed.  I decided this would be fairly easy for me to accomplish because it comes very close to the way I eat now.  Many times I find myself mentioning to my clients the role food plays in the inflammatory process, but I don’t really have a method for others to follow.  I am trying this out in the hopes that it will be a cleanse that I can suggest for clients with constant pain, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.  And because it is wheat and gluten free, it is perfect for the growing numbers of people who have celiac’s disease.

This cleanse comes with a protein powder that is rice and pea-based.  This is the first protein powder I have ever found that is dairy and soy free!  I can’t tell you how excited I was about that!  There is also a detox tea and liquid herbs to help detox the liver and remove excess fluids.

Surprisingly, I was not hungry at all today and I even ran for an hour in the morning.  The protein drinks are delicious and satisfying.  My legs did feel a bit heavy on my run, but I’m not sure if that was from the detox tea or from walking Disneyland all day yesterday!  Needless to say, by dinnertime (when I actually got to eat my food) I wasn’t too hungry and could not finish my dinner.

This cleanse is supposed to last for 28 days.  So far, I seem to be off to a good start!  I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

November 14, 2010 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween candy

Halloween is upon us again, and with it the accumulation of enough candy to feed a village!  While it’s fun to dress up and go trick-or-treating, it is not necessary for kids to consume so much sugar.  There are a lot of ways parents can go about reducing their kids intake of candy.

My daughter is permitted a few pieces of candy on Halloween.  Next, I go through her candy and pull out her favorites.  This is typically anything chocolate and skittles.  The rest goes in the trash*.  I place her favorites in a large ziploc bag, and every time we go see a movie, I pull out one or two pieces of candy and take them with us.  My daughter still feels like she is getting a treat at the movies, yet its a fraction of the size (and sugar) one would buy at the theater, and it costs me nothing.  That candy lasts the entire year!

For those who have a difficult time keeping their own hand out of their child’s Halloween candy, just keep in mind that there is something to be said for modeling self-control to your children.  If you cannot model this very important characteristic, chances are they never will learn self-control either.

*Some children may need to be bribed with a gift in order to part with their candy =)

Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween!

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Children, Food, Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment